Advocates Seek Greater Safety for Oklahoma City Bicyclists
Bicycles are affordable and attractive for people looking to get around Oklahoma City, but cycling advocates are speaking out about the dangers they encounter on city streets. Fox 25 recently quoted the owner of a local bicycle shop as saying that vulnerable bikers are being injured and killed in collisions with careless motorists.
The shop owner says that hit-and-run crashes are all too common, perhaps because drivers can speed away from a biker after a collision in an effort to avoid legal responsibility. He is also concerned about cyclists being hit by side mirrors and drivers swerving around bikes to make dangerous, quick turns.
Oklahoma City officials and citizen advisors are overseeing projects to improve road safety, reduce traffic wrecks, and build parks and other urban amenities. The effort includes $85 million for new sidewalks and trails so that cyclists and pedestrians can steer clear of the hustle-bustle of traffic. MAPS 3, a citywide project that will raise and spend $777 million by 2017, broke ground on new sidewalks west of Hefner Lake on August 19.
Oklahoma City requires bicyclists to obey traffic laws and wear helmets on city property. Norman also has a municipal helmet law that applies to bike riders under the age of 18.
In 2011, 677 people died in bicycle crashes throughout the nation. Kids accounted for almost 10% of those fatalities. Kids 8-14 years of age were the children most likely to be killed in bike accidents.
Safe Kids, a global organization that educates parents about child safety issues, has some helpful recommendations for young bicyclists. For instance, bikers should make eye contact with motorists to make sure drivers see them. Safe Kids also tells parents to make sure kids’ bikes are the right size, encourages bikers to wear helmets, and strongly recommends using lights when riding at dawn, dusk, or after nightfall.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident with a careless driver, the attorneys at Burch, George & Germany, P.C., are here to help. Our Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers serve clients in Norman, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and other communities around the state.
We represent people who have been hurt in truck crashes, motorcycle accidents, bicycling collisions and car wrecks. Contact us today so we can get started on your case.
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